A fraternity that operated at U of T for almost 90 years has acknowledged its long-standing ties to the university with a gift to support scholarships for incoming students.
Delta Tau Delta was a fixture on campus for much of the 20th century, occupying two houses on St. George Street in the 1960s and, after the university expropriated those, one on Madison Avenue. At Delta Tau Delta’s peak in the early 1960s, as many as 15 fraternity brothers slept at the house, while another 25 ate meals and socialized there. For many, the experience was life changing. “The fraternity created bonds of friendship that continue to survive after almost 50 years,” says Robert Roden (BASc 1960, MA 1961), a Delta Tau Delta member. Fraternity brother Richard Harris (BA 1975 Victoria) agrees. “It was a core part of our university experience.”
Delta Tau Delta’s fortunes changed in the 1990s as fraternities fell out of favour and membership declined; as a result the group found it increasingly difficult to cover the costs of maintaining its property. The U of T chapter closed in 1992, sold the house on Madison and invested the proceeds.
In 2005, Delta Tau Delta alumni voted to use the investment to set up a scholarship at U of T. “Our collective view was that the university had been very good to us,” says Harris. “We wanted to give back to the university and to future generations.” A donation of $180,000 will be matched by the Ontario Trust for Student Support to create an endowment of $360,000. The funds will likely support three annual scholarships for first-year students at any of the university’s three campuses.